Batik Painting Technique

The traditional batik scenes include flowers, ocean waves, and repeating shapes, among many others. If you want to make a batik painting of your own, you can do so with just a few materials. You will also be enjoying a truly Indonesian art while learning about textiles and the science of fibers.

First you will need a few materials which include: some cotton or near-cotton blends cut to size, flour and alum (found in your grocer’s spice aisle), a mixing container, a plastic squeeze bottle with a small hole funnel, pencil, waxed paper, black marker and masking tape, acrylic paint, large bristled brush, and some sudsy water for removing dried paste.

Once you have chosen your design, you will need to draw it with your pencil on a piece of paper the same size as the cloth you will be painting. Use your marker to darken the penciled design. You will have three layers after you put your drawing on the bottom, then tape waxed paper over the drawing, and the fabric over the waxed paper.

To make the paste, you will need �½ cup water, 2 teaspoons alum, and �½ cup of flower. Mix all of this in a blender or bowl and spoon it into the squeeze bottle. It is best to use the paste the same day it is prepared. You can practice drawing on a newspaper before making your final design on the fabric. Use the paste and apply it to your design. Remember that wherever you paste will not have paint. Let the paste and design sit for about twelve hours.

Now, you can brush on your paint. Make sure to cover every part you want colored and then let it dry completely. Put the fabric into some sudsy water and gently scrape off the dry paste. This may be messy but can be cleaned up fairly easily. Throw your batiked fabric into the dryer and use it as gift wrap, a pillow, or a placemat.

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